African Warrior heads for Cape Town

PUBLISHED: 01 August 2019

African Warrior (Candiese Marnewick)

Numerous offers have been made for the impressive Dean Kannemeyer-trained African Warrior but the D K Kannemeyer Racing Syndicate, which consist of local and overseas members, is “having such fun” with him they have turned them down.

The best of Kannemeyer’s current Summerveld contingent will be travelling down to Cape Town next week and will then be given their African Horse Sickness vaccinations because if given them in KZN they have to wait 40 days before departing.     

African Warrior was one of the most impressive winners on eLan Gold Cup day under a fine ride by Keagan de Melo.

African Warrior (Candiese Marnewick)
African Warrior (Candiese Marnewick)

The Vercingetorix gelding is a handful in the preliminaries but is the pole opposite during a race and relaxes beautifully in the running.

De Melo’s aim was to simply find cover from the widest draw of all, knowing the athletic bay has a devastating turn of foot.

He dropped him out and managed to slot him in behind a line of horses who were running two wide.

De Melo, with a double handful, remained patient until the 300m mark before unleashing him. 

The response was instantaneous and after sweeping past the pack he joined the leader Spring Break at the 50m mark and saw her off to win by 0,30 lengths.

Appropriately he paraded in front of the grandstand to the sounds of Johnny Clegg’s hit Impi.

African Warrior was coming off a win in the KZN Yearling Sale Million.

He was purchased for a bargain R100,000 at that BSA Sale and has already earned R1,032,375.

Kannemeyer had a quiet season by his standards but it ended with a bang as his Querari colt Liberty Hall finished second in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes over 1600m.

This colt runs in the colours of popular Cape partners Mike Fullard and James Drew and DG Abery, RL Gabler and CL Gabler are also owners.

Kannemeyer has an enviable record in the Cape Classics but has no set plans for these two young horses yet.

Liberty Hall has already proved he stays a mile. 

African Warrior has plenty of natural speed but being by Vercingetorix out of a Jet Master mare who won over 1600m he should stay classic distances, especially as he relaxes so well in the running. 

By David Thiselton